︎ Yutao Fang                                                 Showreel                                                   Gallery                                                   Info                                                ︎    ︎    ︎ 

Experience Experiment Expectation


Thesis Project   |   Instrcutor: Hernan Diaz Alonso   |   2022

My thesis aims to create an Asian-futurism to merge the tradition and mystics of the Miao people with technology, based on a parafunctional concept that metals have biological qualities.

The project re-graphed a non-western, non-modern and non-universal technological narrative that is rudeness and ritualized. It attempts to make the traditional practices merge into nature and technology, embedding the identity into objects.

The story happens in a village of Miao people——a group of ethnic minorities living in Southern-west of China, my hometown.

Their origins can be traced back to the Yan and Huang Era, around 5000 years ago. My study mainly focused on their silver

ornaments.  Through the deconstruction and collage of traditional silver ornaments, the identity adapted itself into a

technological mode and was encoded into objects.

The Miao people were born to be faithful believers of animism. According to their oral epic, all Miao people are descendants of a

butterfly and water bubbles. The essence of animism is ancient people’s awe of nature due to ignorance. With the development of

science and technology, we humans tend to isolate ourselves from the definition of “nature.” In the case of the Miao people, the

belief in their kinship with animals and plants bonded them tight with nature.

The regular operation of the modern industrial civilization was based on the use of metals. Once the metals inside machines,

buildings, and roads merge with creatures, cities are paralyzed.

For Miao people, who still live in traditional wooden buildings, metal doesn't play the role of constructing shelters for their

bodies. Instead, the metal, the hand-crafted silver ornament, is a medium of storing souls and memories. The spirits of their

ancestors who lived in silver protected them, helped them evolve into something more than human. Their unique sorcery of

controlling poison creatures to heal or curse helped them build up a new coexist relationship with other metal chimeras.

A nonlinear narrative was used in the storytelling to break the temporality of traditional practices. The two characters in the film

are the same person from different spots on the timeline. The whole story is a Mobius strip. The Chinese title for the project

means “Undecided record,” hinting that the past, present, and future are interchangeable.

Lifestyle is an automating protector and the way we preserve culture. The interpretation of the traditional Miao garments

emphasizes that the notion of architecture not only deals with the problem of buildings or structures but also the body and the

whole lifestyle.

When inanimate objects in the traditional definition are given biological qualities as a hybrid lifeform, the boundary between

species, organic and inorganic, was blurred. Through these "Chimera" eyes, I look for a more intimate symbiotic relationship

between man and nature, tradition and technology.